NEW YORK TIMES
36 Hours in Portland, Me.
Craig Dilger for The New York Times
PORTLAND, Me., is known for three L’s: lobster, lighthouses and L. L. Bean (O.K., make that four L’s). Here’s another: local. In recent years, this city on the coast of Maine has welcomed a wave of locavore restaurants, urban farms and galleries that feature local artists. Abandoned brick warehouses are being repurposed as eco-friendly boutiques. In the main square, a 19th-century building has been refashioned into a farmers’ market. And everywhere you look, this once-sleepy industrial town is showing signs of rejuvenation — usually by keeping things local.
1) WEST SIDE STORY
To see bohemian Portland, stroll down Congress Street, where at least a dozen galleries, studios and cafes have opened in recent years. David Marshall, a beret-wearing painter who moonlights as a city councilman, is among the artists who exhibit at Constellation Gallery (511 Congress Street; 207-409-6617; constellationart.com), which opened last year. His artsy friends can be found at Local Sprouts (649 Congress Street; 207-899-3529; localsproutscooperative.com), an earthy, community-supported cafe as crunchy as it sounds. Down the street is the Portland Public Library (5 Monument Square; 207-871-1700; portlandlibrary.com), which recently revamped its gallery and added an atrium.